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A Garden in Venice

Garden art & lifestyle

The most colorful spot in Venice

Approaching Burano from the Murano direction and Mazzorbo in view to the left
Burano back-street secrets to discover, the most colorful spot in Burano itself and in the lagoon, and it is not just about flowers. Imagine you discover the cutest miniature campiello, embellished with white-striped and fluffy curtains that drift against the brightly colored facades, of course complete with an even tinier vine-covered pergola over a front garden. A sort of half private terrace where public and private life overlap. And then you would like to discover WHY Burano's houses have been painted in such bright colors, much more colorful than any other place in the lagoon is.. 
As this blog is all about colors, it is time to present a very special place. Summer is the best time to go as you can enjoy the ONE cool breeze usually available, sitting or standing abord a motonave (boat) ploughing the lagoon. It takes about 45 minutes to arrive in Burano if you start at Piazza San Marco. On your way, you will enjoy a view of a number of islands dotting the north-eastern lagoon, some from very nearby as the boat passes, some are farther away ( I will describe the boat ride to Burano in another blog installment).
Near Fondamenta del Pizzo, a public park and gardens open for everyone, with pine trees in front of the colorful houses.
On your way to the central Piazza and Via Galuppi, lined with lace shops, you start immerging yourselves into the colorful realtà lagunare, which gets more even colorful, bright and lively.
Herbs and flower pots are lovingly tended by the inhabitants of the colorful houses next to the gardens
With regard to colors, here we go far beyond the rosso veneziano color shades that you encounter in Venice and on the other lagoon islands, including Lido and Murano. Only Pellestrina island gets a bit more colorful lately. 
The urban setting of the islands is just like that of Venice. So here you can see that Venice and the lagoon are inseparable in this respect as well: you find urban features from campiello, fondamenta, pozzo, sotoportego .. and of course gardens of all sorts. Front and back gardens, altane (roof-top terraces, there is even a restaurant in Burano - Riva Rosa where you can eat on the altana), terraces, street gardens and ... a very particular spot with a very small, light and fluffy looking outdoor terrace & garden arrangement. This corner  is a very narrow calle, opening up into a campiello situated between Calle Fornaini and Calle Daffan. Turn right from Via Galuppi .. and this is what you get to see .. I think this little place has in it the keys to understanding what the tessuto urbano (urban layout) of both Venice and the lagoon islands is all about, and how much of quality in life can derive from living in such a quiet yet lively spot. 
The first few steps towards the campiello are taken in the shade, you get curious by the bright blue, turquoise and green reflections of the colors of the lagoon on a summer day. In Burano, people try to paint their houses as often as they can, this is usually done every 1-2 years.
Chalk-painted facades, wrought iron balcony railings and doors behind which small flower plots and covered verandas are hiding ..
A vertical flower pot garden climbing up the facade
The first glimpse of the campiello ahead ..
The campiello actually looks like a terrace where public and private space overlap ..
A few steps away from the pergola you can see a Madonna shrine on the wall
Flowers in white: Petunias and false jasmine adorne the wall
Small and colorful world: vins, roses, jasminum..
A sun terrace at the edge of the house
Invitation to explore ..
I love the flowing curtains that shield the entrance from the sun
But why is Burano so very colorful - to answer this question, I came across 2 theories, and I didn't find them in guidebooks. A friend of my grandfather's told me it was because of the caigo. Sometimes the fog gets so thick in the lagoon that you can barely see what is happening half a meter farther. On these days, around in the lagoon in particular in early autumn, fishermen, but also the boatsmen bringing wares like vegetables to Venice across the lagoon, need to stay where they are. And as soon as the veil lifts a bit, it is easier to find your way if the houses are colorful and you can make out your objective easier. 
A few more details of the tiny square: Flowers and wrought iron railings are of the same color
Looking back into the direction of Via Galuppi, the mainstay of locals and visitors
The turquoise house: even the wooden balcony has been painted in a turquoise matching the facade
The second theory, pronounced by my uncle, has it that in the 17th century when the lagoon was hit by the plague, it was necessary to disinfect the houses. To distinguish houses of healthy families from those struck by the disease, the latter were painted white with chalk which was considered to be disinfectant. The other houses were colored in bright colors instead ..
Turning back to Via Galuppi: Here it branches out into two fondamenta .. to be followed in another blog installment.

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